House conservatives call for spending freeze until next Congress is sworn in
The conservative House Freedom Caucus wants Republican leaders in the House and Senate to try to delay passing a new budget until after the new year, when the GOP may have control of one or both chambers of Congress.
The caucus urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a letter on Monday to “reject a lame duck omnibus” and extend current funding levels into the 118th Congress “to avoid empowering Democrats in a lame duck session.”
Current funding levels run out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and it is typical for Congress to extend funding at current levels through a certain date by passing a continuing resolution if it can’t reach an agreement before the end of the year.
“The American People literally cannot afford another Democrat-led spending measure that would exacerbate inflation and continue to fund the very agencies waging war on our freedoms,” said the letter, which was signed from simply the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) is the current chair of the caucus.
The group said Republicans in the next Congress should cut spending to pre-pandemic levels and defund the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats’ health care, tax and climate bill that President Biden is set to sign into law on Tuesday.
It also calls for “the elimination of the countless federal employees paid to advance divisive race and gender-based ideologies throughout the bureaucracy,” using appropriations to encourage U.S. energy production, changing policies on the U.S.-Mexico border and ending COVID-19 vaccine mandates for the military.
“Republicans must use every opportunity at our disposal — especially through the constitutional power of the purse — to fight for the freedoms of the American People,” the Freedom Caucus said in its letter. “At a minimum, we should not fund government policies so brazenly and openly at odds with the exercise of those freedoms to the undeniable detriment of the American People.”
Members of the House Freedom Caucus have previously called for the rejection of government funding bills, forcing a government shutdown over federal vaccine mandates, and for Republican senators to take a stronger stance on vaccine mandates with amendments on key bills.